My grandson was in Kindergarten at Washington Elementary when his mother died last year. The school was very supportive and helpful during this horrible time. I have seen his confidence grow, his reading and math skills improve, and his joy in learning take off, largely due to the wonderful teachers and staff at Washington. The school really emphasizes the community of people. They give priority to including parents and grandparents in the child's learning and social development.
In kindergarten, the teacher spent a lot of time doing things like teaching the kids to say, "are you ok?" whenever another kid hurt himself. There is also a "big friends" program where third graders pair up with and mentor the kindergarten kids. Every week they would have some buddy time, with the big friend reading a book, or taking the younger kid to the book fair. Even on the playground before school, the big friend was looking out for my son. It was great for both kids.
We love Washington. We moved into the neighborhood hoping to get into the Two-Way Immersion Spanish program and were disappointed when the lottery didn't work in our favor. But we have been pleasantly surprised by the more conventional "Gen Ed" path. The teachers are phenomenal, and the principal is a rock star. In an age of testing and metrics, they find time to develop the total child, and to engage as many parents as possible. Washington produces really nice kids who seem to be able to get along with anybody. After two years, our son has a diverse group of friends across several grade levels, and he is reading above his current grade level. We have him in after-school care, and there are a number of optional programs offered like Mudlark Theater, Tae Kwon Do, and the Actor's Gymnasium. We are excited for our second child to start in another year.
We were new to the area and to Washington this year with a kindergartner. We had heard nothing but positive things about Washington, but I was a little concerned about the school relative to a few other District 65 schools with higher test scores. However, I took comfort with Washington's reputation for being such a warm, diverse and fun community. Our family could not agree more! It has been a very smooth and pleasant transition for us and we are very happy to be in this school's attendance boundary. Our child is learning a lot from a very caring, intelligent teacher with a knack for teaching and reaching out to children. We haven't had to contact the principal but we have met her on several occasions and she has been kind and she seems very available and involved with students and parents. Of course we are new-ish, but we highly recommend this school to date.
We arrived from France last summer and our 2 daughters attend this school. We are amazed by teachers and staff's involvement to help them. Everything has been made easy for them. The parents are really helpful too. We could not have been more pleased by a school.
I have three children who've attended Washington over the past 9 years. I can't say enough good things about it. Washington has a strong sense of culture that draws students and families back year-after-year to annual events like its Back-to-school Icecream Social, its Fall Festival, and Garden work parties. It's culture of caring that has been passed down from teacher to teacher and family to family in this nurturing community. Washington welcomes the entire family. One of it's greatest strengths is its parent involvement. Principals Ms. Ellison and Mr. Friedman believe in the importance of fostering a welcoming, inclusive, postive climate. They are always on the playground, welcoming students each morning and sending them off at the end of the school day. They host a new parent orientation and monthly coffees throughout the school year. They communicate regularly and set a postive tone, encouraging parents to call or drop in to see them any time. For more info & to preview all of the amazing before- and after-school clubs and activities offered by Washington's PTA, visit <www.washschool.net>, their parent-hosted website.
Very attentive and involved principal. Teachers work carefully to engage students and help/ challenge them. Unbelievablely active PTA and parent volunteers. Two sets of TWI (two way immersion classes) makes it so that your TWI child's classmates get to vary a bit from year to year. Lots of clubs.